Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight veteran Francisco Rivera -- who is currently mired in a three-fight losing streak inside the Octagon -- was recently notified that United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) flagged his most recent drug test for a potential performance-enhancing violation. "Cisco" most recently competed at UFC 201 last month, dropping a unanimous decision to Erik Perez.
UFC issued the following statement regarding his test:
"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Francisco Rivera of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on July 23, 2016. USADA -- the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy -- will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward."
Pulling a page from Frank Mir's book of, "I ate tainted meat," excuses, Rivera issued a statement to MMAFighting.com, revealing that he tested positive for clenbuterol, a compound that is sometimes found in Mexican meat.
"Rivera, 34, said he was vacationing in Mexico just before the drug test, which is significant in this case. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a warning in 2011 that said China and Mexico have a "serious problem" with meat contaminated with clenbuterol, which is clinically used in some countries to treat breathing disorders in humans. Rivera said he ate meat on multiple occasions when he was in Mexico."
This is not the first time that Rivera has been caught in the crosshairs of a UFC's anti-doping efforts. Rivera was caught with an "over the counter stimulant" in his system after a knockout win over Roland Delorme, which was later overturned to a "No Contest."